CH.1. THE SECRET AMONG THEM
5th April 2021.
It was a shiny morning in CHANDKHEDA, a small colony, situated near a skyscraper, SEVEN HEIGHTS. The sun was shining above to spray its rays and the air was running with freshness and enthusiasm within, birds were chirping in nearby trees in and around that colony.
In the enthusiasm and freshness of morning breezes some people were jogging with their Libra dogs, bull dog and German shepherds, some were riding bicycles for early morning exercise. Few pedestrians were out for morning walk.
Children were out of home, some of them were on their way to school, some of them were set off for coaching while remaining were on the street to play and enjoy that shiny morning.
Some stray dogs and cows were getting the same enjoyment of men in that warm rays while searching for morning food, some noble ladies were helping them by giving them last night’s remaining chapatti and other eatable things in CHHADI (A small stone structure laid near road to put extra and un useful food for cows and dogs or any other stray cattle.).
A small bungalow was nested in the left side of seven heights with lawn and a small garden around. The trees in garden were swaying with chilling breeze of December and garden itself was probe of that how well kept it was by his master.
The rising flowers in the garden seemed happy due to unknown reason. Nick stopped his bicycle in front of that beautiful garden. He was a paperboy of SADESH NEWS and DIVYA BHASKR in that area. He folded round the news paper and tossed the paper pack inside the premise of the house. It caught its aim as regular and fall at the porch of the house.
Inside the bungalow, the gorgeousness of that beautiful house was hidden in many forms like beautiful modern furniture, wooden dining table, forty inch flat LED and many more which should be in a good house. In the foyer of that charming house a charming lady of late forty was calling her daughter, Sophia. Her face was beautiful but had dark circles around her eyes to show the problems she was going through long time, the problem of her loving son Sam’s memory loss in a road accident before some years.
That day was Sam’s 21st birthday day. He was a cheerful and kind nature. In physical appearance he was not much significant except his green blue eyes. Sophia, his loving beautiful sister was so caring for him.
Sophia and Sam’s mother Eliza wanted to give him a surprise on that special day.
“Sophia, where are you?” a beautiful voice came from kitchen.
“Here.. upstairs mom”
“Come down… beta.”
A girl with blond face and red hair went down the stairs. She was Sophia, loving daughter of Eliza Gala.
“Have you made the preparation?”
“Yes… mom, everything.”
Sophia was a slim girl of 21 with fair complexion. Her good height was beautifying her. Her big eyes made her face attractive and significant.
She was in her round neck Pink t-shirt and narrow jeans of navy blue colour which she had bought from Big Bazar, Ahmedadabad. The family lived there, in a metropolitan city of Gujrat, perhaps the most progressive and modern city of the state, the capital, Ahmedabad with towering buildings and vast broad streets. Their house was in LEVAN STREET in CHANDKHEDA, a short of beautiful house of two storied and surrounded by man height wall in a beautiful square shape with an entrance of a medium sized iron gate which had the image of sun god curved in center.
‘’Sophia, dear go and wake him up.’’
She went to Sam’s room which was at ground floor next to their parent’s room, the door was half opened. She drew inside through half shut door, stood near Sam’s bed for several seconds and flopped on the edge of Sam’s bed.
“Hey, Sam.” she said pulling his Kashmiri blanket which her mom had bought it from JK handloom in beginning of last winter, specially for Sam.
“Hey, wake up.”
“Let me sleep. Please, Sophia” he said without opening his eyes.
“But it is morning brother.”
Sam opened his eyes slowly and looked straight at alarm clock laid on nearby desk, it was showing nine. Sam was handsome dark skinned boy with short cropped hair, his face was clean shaven. He stepped out from his bed, looked at his sister in half sleep and said, ‘Good Morning, Sophi.”
“Don’t call me Sophi, I don’t like abbreviations.”
“Okay, I am sorry.” He said and went to washroom, turned the tap on and poured some water on his face. The cold water of head tank of terrace gave him freshness and enthusiasm.
“Your tea is ready, come and join us at breakfast.” Said Sophia gently and left the room in her naughty manner.
“Okay…Boss…” said he in grinding voice, his brush was in his mouth.
After finishing brush and bath he came out of washroom, grabbed his orange bright Polo T-Shirt and funky dark blue Jeans.
In no time he was in dining room with his sister and mother. The dining area was rather significant as every upper middle class possess. He sat on the wooden chair in front of Sophia to join the breakfast with them.
“Looking good” said Sophia looking at Sam in surprised manner.
“Mom, Please tell him don’t call me Sophi…My name is Sophia…Sophia Gala…”
“Sam, don’t tease him” said his mother trying to show fake anger.
“Okay mom, don’t try it, you can’t make your loving face angry.”
It was true Rebecca was kind and good nature mother. No one has heard her angry voice or talking her bad about anyone.
After the breakfast when Sam stood up and headed towards coach and about to reach LCD remote Sophia said,
‘‘Let’s go upstairs bro….”
‘‘I don’t want to go in your room as I don’t like your experiments of physics or I don’t want to feed up myself with one more.” Without knowing the reason Sam directly replied.
‘‘Don’t tease me. It’s not about my experiments.”
“Then about your new model?”
“I promise it’s something different, it’s something unique.”
“Still I don’t want…”
“Let’s go.” She insisted grabbing him from his shirt sleeve.
‘‘OK baba. I am coming, don’t ruin my shirt iron.” said Sam trying to release his sleeve from Sophia’s grip while standing from coach.
Sophia released his shirt sleeve and she headed towards up stairs, Sam also followed her. They reached Sophia’s room in no time, the door of her room was closed from outside, not locked but only latched.
‘‘Close your eyes.’’ said Sophia.
“I am not a child, c’mon Sophia behave like your age” said Sam in taunting tone.
“Just do it, please.”
‘‘Don’t ask any question, please.” Sophia made her face as innocent and childish as she could.
“Now what…?” Sam closed his eyes and said.
“Wait a while.” Said Sophia and turned the brass handle of the door, opened it carefully and led him in to the room.
‘‘You can open your eyes now.’’
Sophia had decorated the room early morning with the things which she had bought the last day from R.K. Gifts. The room was not the big one or kind of one with modern wooden or steel furniture but Sophia’s decoration had given it a different and unique look. It was looking beautiful than any ordinary day. The bed was packed with colorful small balloons and walls were decorated with ribbons and color full flowers. The scene inside room was enough to surprise anyone.’
Sam opened his eyes and taken aback to see the decoration.
‘‘Happy birthday day to you.’’ recited Sophia in her beautiful voice of silver bell.
But it seemed as if Sam had not heard it. He was staring over the room with widened eyes with more surprise than Sophia had expected.
No answer from him.
“Hey….. what happened?”
Still no answer.
Suddenly Sam placed both his hands on his head. He set down on the floor with eyes running here and there in all room and pulled his legs against his chest and crossed his hands over them as a child do in a dark corner due to fear of darkness. But it does not help him, he was no longer a child.
Sophia feared due to it, she did not understand what is going on? Or what she should do?
Her mind could not took any decision, she could only give a loud fearful call ….
Rebecca heard her voice in kitchen, she left her chores in between and rushed there. She stunned to see it, Sam was sitting on floor, his face was wholly covered with fear and wonder.
“Get a glass of water immediately.” said her mom before she could complete.
Sophia rushed to the kitchen, there she opened the fridge and took out a bottle from it. Leaving the fridge opened she ran towards her room. Coming in the room she handed the bottle to Sam. He drank some water. Cold water made him calm but fear and wonder on his face remained same.
“What happened….. beta?”
Sam looked at his mother and sister by turn for several seconds without blinking his eyes and said…..
“When I saw decorated room, my mind started to change the reality inside. The balloons on the bed were changing their colour into black and white and size into small and big while going up. Like a magician my mind started to practice the magic. The photo of Sophia on the wall became vague and disappeared from the frame and a man and women standing side by side, totally stranger for me came into that frame. Some cupboards were there where had been nothing. The room got beautiful furniture by itself. Everything was looking so real that my mind was unable to find the different between reality and illusion. More than ten boy and girls age of ten or twelve were enjoying a birthday party of a boy. That empty corner had a big table with boxes of gifts on it. When I heard Sophia’s unclear voice all started to change again. It appeared that those small boys and girls were frightened by Sophia’s voice. They looked at me and disappeared one by one. At last that birthday boy glanced at ne and also disappeared. The walls swallowed all the furniture and cupboards. That empty corner regain its emptiness when that big table disappeared nowhere but in itself. Balloons abruptly came down and got their original colours and size. The unknown couple appeared in the frame changed themselves in transparent so Sophia could redeem her place in her photo frame.
“Mom…what was that? Why did it happen?” Sam asked, his voice was still broken by fear, dazzled by light and consumed with curiosity but felt too ill to look closely at his surroundings.
“Before two year you met with a road accident while you were on your bike. It was horrible accident so it took years for your recovery from coma. We were happy to see you out of the danger. But we had to accept the bitter truth, truth of your memory lose. You forgot everything about yourself, your city, your friends even your name and us. You have a long black out of eighteen years, my son. I think this is the side effects of your amnesia. This illusion was side effect of that nightmare. You have recalled one of your past birthday’s memories due to sudden surprise of birthday.’
“we don’t know the reason dear…we don’t know why but it is good, it shows possibility of your recovery, it shows possibility of recovery from black out , your mind has started to regain the flash back, doctors had told it is good.”
“Will I recall everything?”
“Yes, dear…We hope so.” Said Rebecca, turned her head to her daughter and commenced, “Sophia, dear, prepare some tea for me and Sam.”
Sophia went to the kitchen.
While Sophia was making tea, Sam and Rebecca sat themselves on the coach in the foyer. Trio took tea while watching television.
After some time the family started their routine. Rebecca was busy in her kitchen work and Sophia was busy with her books. Only Sam had nothing to do so he was busy with his mind. Thoughts were floating in his mind. He once again felt a pressing ache of confusion due to his own thoughts. The loss of memory does not make you stupid if you are not the one before the loss.
“Why I can’t remember anything, if I can remember my long past event, why I can’t remember my parents and my sister.”
Sam had many unanswered questions in his mind but no way to find the answer. He breathed in deeply, trying to settle his nerves but only a mixture of smells bombarded him. He went to Sophia’s room. She was busy in practice of meditation taught by their old neighbour at Dhanera . Sam’s foot sound disturbed her in practice. She looked at him and smile…..
“How are you feeling now?” she said.
“Better than before…”
Sam sat on edge of the bed in front of Sophia.
“I want to ask you something”
“Tell me everything about my past life.”
Smile vanished from her face. She could not decide what to say. She tried to calm her mind.
“You have past of 18 years before your memory lose. How can I tell you everything? If you want any particular detail I can tell you.”
“Okay, tell me anything, any incident of our past.”
“We were living in DHANERA before three years. We had many friends when we were child. We were in St. Anna’s high school. you and I were clever in study.”
“Are we twins?”
“Yes, but I am one minute older than you.”
“Where I have met with an accident?
“It was in our native… by a speeding car, at Green park. It was a horrible accident.”
She was entering false and feigned memories in his mind about his past to keep him away from the painful real past.
“Did father posses a shop there too?”
“No, Dad had job in a watch company.”
“Why did we move to Ahmedabad from DHANERA?”
“After death of that company owner, the manager of the company got control over it and manager forced Dad to resign from the company because Dad was against his bad policies”
“Sophia was narrating the past, she was making change if necessary but she was not total fake.”
“Okay, I want some rest, my head is heavy.” Said Sam and he went to his room.
After sometime Sophia also got ready for her job and left the house. She was working for Art Gallery at CHANDKHEDA.
By Mahendra Trivedi
TO BE CONTINUE…..
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